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Carmel's Story

Carmel was diagnosed with stage 4 colorectal cancer 8 years ago when she was aged 48 years. The disease had spread to her liver and later spread to both lungs. Over the next 2 years she underwent 5 different operations on her bowel (including an ileostomy), liver and both lungs.She was also treated by chemotherapy.  


During this period she attended ExWell’s predecessor programme  (MedEx) in DCU and found it hugely beneficial.  She said it restored her confidence and ‘bouncebackability’ and helped her to prepare for and recover from her operations and chemotherapy regimes.


​In 2020 Carmel needed another operation for a lung recurrence.  Once again exercise played an important role in her rehab.  ​Last year the disease spread to affect her airway (the trachea) and could not be treated by surgery. Since then Carmel has been treated by undergoing regular bronchoscopies which involve ‘scraping away’ the tumour.


Carmel has re-joined ExWell to get herself into the best physical and mental shape possible for whatever treatments lie ahead. ​Carmel’s experiences to date coupled with her positive attitude and her constant good humour are an inspiration.  


She shares her full story in an episode of the podcast series called ‘Answers for Cancers’, developed by Professor Ann Brannigan, consultant surgeon in The Mater and hosted by Prof Brannigan’s Mater colleagues Michelle Matthews and Annmarie Fay.


It is Carmel’s personal perspective that will be really interesting and helpful for patients and families who find themselves in a similar situation.​


Please click here to listen to the podcast in full. 

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